Using a water butt comes with many benefits. It not only provides you with an ideal source of water for your plants, but also reduces your carbon footprint and could even save you money.
A water butt is a very simple device but an incredibly useful one. By connecting a water butt to the downpipe of your house, you can easily store the rainwater that gathers in your drainpipes and use it to water your plants amongst other things.
Features to consider when buying a water butt include –
- Its size – Size is always going to be an important considering when buying a water butt. Some hold much more water than others, so you should think about how much you’re likely to use and choose accordingly.
- Materials used – The majority of water butts are made from plastic, which is ideal since it’s easy to clean and copes with harsh weather well. If you prefer though, there are models that are made from other materials, including wood, stone and clay.
- Style and colour – Your water butt will be something that’s going to be outside your house for a long time, so even if it’s not on display, you still want to be sure that you’re happy with its appearance.
We’ve rated some of the UK’s best water butts, looking at their key features as well as their pros and cons, helping you to make an informed decision.
Last update on 2021-02-10 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API
Let’s start with our best pick, the Rainsaver Mini 100L…
An extremely well-made, high-capacity duel tank
Our best pick is the Rainsaver Mini 100L Double Kit. As you can tell from the product name, you get two tanks for your money, each being able to hold 100 litres of water.
The butts are made from recycled plastic, so they’re able to hold up to the harsh winter weather very well and can be cleaned very easily when needed.
You get stands for both units included as well as a rain diverter kit, which means you have everything you need to get it set up and start using it.
Despite their large capacity, these water butts have a nice, compact design and wouldn’t look out of place in your garden.
The included instructions are very easy to follow and unlike a lot of other water butts, they come pre-drilled, so you don’t need to drill your own holes to use them. One kit connects to the other very easily, meaning that when they’re set up, they’ll both fill without any extra work required.
Overall, this is an excellent product and would be ideal if you’re looking to save money on your water bill and have an ideal source of water for your plants.
- Very easy to set up, with both units being pre-drilled and the included instructions very easy to follow
- Very high capacity – a total of 200 litres
- Reasonably priced
- Comes with a 5-year guarantee
- Wouldn’t be suitable for downpipes made from cast iron
A practical and affordable solution
This product is very similar in its design to the Rainsaver Mini, being a dark green colour and having a sleek design. It’s also able to hold 100 litres of water and is made from recycled plastic.
In addition to the water butt itself, you also get the stand and diverter kit included. The compact design means this would be ideal for smaller gardens, while still giving you a plentiful supply of rainwater.
The included rain diverter fits most UK standard downpipes and the instructions included are clear and easy-to-follow. This would also be suitable for use with sheds and greenhouses, providing there is guttering and a downpipe to connect it to.
This would make a good choice if you’re looking for a water butt that won’t take up too much space and is very affordable.
- Very affordable
- Great build quality
- The compact design makes it ideal for use in smaller gardens
- Could also be used with sheds and greenhouses
- The design of the stand means it must be placed on perfectly flat ground or there is a risk of the unit falling over when it’s full
- Doesn’t come pre-drilled, so you’ll need to make your own hole to fit it to your downpipe
A quirky and unique garden water storage solution
Cost: Price not available
If you’re looking for a water butt that’s unique looking, then the Sankey 150L Beehive Water Butt certainly fits the bill. Shaped like a beehive and with a ceramic appearance to the exterior, it would fit in well in most gardens, especially if you have a lot of stone or ceramic plant pots.
It holds 150 litres of water and is very easy to collect from, with a tap at the base of the unit. It’s quite easy to set up, although you will need to drill your own hole at the top to connect it.
While it comes with the lid and tap, unfortunately, this model doesn’t come with a diverter kit included, so you will need to buy it separately to connect it to your downpipe and start using it. Also, the matching base has now been discontinued, although you can purchase other bases that fit well.
Overall, it would make a good choice of water butt if you’re looking for something that will fit in well in your garden and provide a good amount of water.
- Has a unique mock-ceramic look, which means it would fit in very well in most gardens without being an eyesore
- At 150 litres capacity, it provides you with plenty of rainwater
- The beehive shape means it’s quite compact despite having a large capacity
- You need to buy the water diverter kit separately
- The matching stand for it has been discontinued
- Some reviewers had problems with the tap leaking
High capacity and includes everything you need
Cost: Price not available
Being able to hold 227 litres of water, this is by far the largest water butt we’ve looked at so far. It’s made from recycled plastic and every part of it feels sturdy and well-made.
Everything you need comes included – the water butt itself, tap, rain diverter and stand. It’s worth noting that the rain diverter isn’t suitable for use with cast iron downpipes. It’s very easy to set up and the water holes are pre-cut, so you don’t need to worry about having the right kind of drill.
If you want higher capacity, then you also have the option to connect multiple water butts together, although you would need to purchase a connection kit separately.
You can buy this in one of two colours – grey or green. It comes with a 5-year guarantee too, so if you have any problems you can get a refund/replacement very easily.
- At 227 litres, it provides you with an abundance of water
- Comes with everything you need to install and use, including the tap, diverter kit and stand
- You can choose between two colours
- Comes with a 5-year guarantee
- Some reviewers had parts missing when it arrived
A sturdy water butt with plenty of capacity
Lastly, we have the Cloudburst 200L Green Water Butt. With 200 litres capacity, this stores plenty of water and being made from recycled plastic means it’s very sturdy in its construction as well as being easy to clean.
You get everything you need included in the package, including a tap, diverter kit, lid and stand. It’s very simple to set up too, with clear instructions provided. It fits most standard downpipes.
It comes in dark green with a black lid and although it’s quite large, it isn’t an eyesore and would look good in most gardens.
You can also get a 95L version if you don’t need such a large supply of water.
- Hold plenty of water
- Is easy to set up and comes with clear instructions
- Comes with everything you need, including the tap, lid, stand and diverter kit
- Comes with a 5-year guarantee
- There can be issues with it leaking when it gets close to full capacity
The Benefits of Owning a Water Butt
Owning a water butt comes with some unique benefits. These include –
Easy to fit
Water butts are very easy to set up and don’t really require any special DIY skills. You also don’t need to worry about providing power as you do with a lot of other gardening equipment.
Suitable for most gardens
A lot of gardening equipment requires you to have a decent-sized garden. This isn’t a problem with a water butt since you’re able to use them even in smaller gardens, providing there is a downpipe to connect it to.
You can also get water butts in many different shapes and sizes, so if you’re looking for something that’s less conspicuous that won’t take up too much space, this won’t be a problem.
A convenient supply of water
The convenience of having a plentiful supply of rainwater to use in your garden is something you’ll wonder how you did without once you get used to having it there. Getting water from a water butt is incredibly easy and the fact that it’s already outdoors saves you from having to keep making trips in and out of the house.
Rainwater is ideal for plants
Another great thing about having a water butt is that it provides you with plenty of rainwater to use on your plants. Rainwater is ideal for plants since it’s free of any chemicals that are in tap water and because it’s at an ideal pH level, being slightly acidic.
If you’re on a water meter, then recycling rainwater is a great way to save money. The initial investment in a water butt is far outweighed by what you could save in the long term, especially during the summer months when you need to water your plants more often.
Using a water butt is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Getting water from a tap, it first needs to be treated and pumped, which requires a lot of energy. Making use of a water butt is a much more environmentally friendly way of getting water to use for your garden.
How To Fit A Water Butt
The first thing you need to do is position your water butt so it’s close enough to the downpipe of your house. The water butt shouldn’t be any further than 50cm from the downpipe. You should also screw the provided tap into the hole at the base of the unit.
Once the water butt is in position, you then need to drill a hole in the top of it using a hole saw. Some water butts come pre-drilled, so you can skip this step if that’s the case. After you’ve drilled the hole you should attach the hose connecter to it.
You’ll now need to remove a section of your downpipe so it can be attached to your water butt. Mark a section of the downpipe that’s level with the hole you drilled in the water butt. The size of the section you need to cut will vary depending on the model, so be sure to check the instructions that came with your water butt.
After you’ve cut the section from your downpipe, you may need to cut the diverter lid, so it fits your downpipe. Then attach the connector pipe to the downpipe, making sure it’s level with the hole at the top of the water butt.
The final step is to cut the pipe so it’s the right length and then attach the water butt to the downpipe.
Once your water butt is set up, all you need to do is use the tap at the base to get water and providing it’s fitted properly, it should last you for many years.
Chris loves the outdoors and exploring nature. He is a freelance writer and has written extensively on subjects including travel, DIY and gardening.